Replacing Xbox w/ XBMC with WD TV live or other alternative - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Winnipeg
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Replacing Xbox w/ XBMC with WD TV live or other alternative

I am currently running XBMC on my original xbox. However, the poor ol' xbox just doesn't have the power to display any media that is 720P or up.

I have been looking for an alternative, I need something "wife proof". The WD TV Live's seem to a really good alternative, they handle all kinds of codecs, and they're about 10 percent of the size of my xbox as well.

Any suggestions, comments or reviews of the WD live or other alternatives?

If anyone has recently ditched XBMC for something new I'd also love to hear what you upgraded to and how it compares.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 07:02 PM
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I have a modded Xbox 1 that I used to stream movies to my HT, but it died just recently as well. I hadn't used it in a while because we had the PS3, which also streamed fine. However, the XBMC interface is much better than the PS3 one.

I now have a WDTV Live. I don't use and software to stream my movies, TV, photos, etc anymore. THe WDTV Live interface is not as slick as the XBMC, but it is not confusing at all.

As far as usage, I find the WDTV performs not great, but OK. It does lag on some HD rips, but for general video and TV shows it does fine. BTW, mine is connected wirelessly to my network.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-11, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Winnipeg
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Thanks for the reply, unfortunately I havn't seen anything as userfriendly as XMBC, even running XMBC on my HTPC isn't as slick.

I'm definately going to be buying something here, and so far it's looking like the WD Live. Thanks for your review. Do you think the lag in your HD feeds may be due to the wireless network?

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-12, 01:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Leduc, AB
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I also have 2 xbmc xboxes still going strong and purchased a WDTV Live for my main home theater. I like the simplicity of the WDTV but the stupid problem of your thumbs duplicating, (you see the movie file thumb AND the actual jpeg thumb file), on network shares is really annoying. I've also had a few iso's skip repeatedly though I think it's something in the way I ripped those particular files.

Nothing can match the polish of XBMC! Have you tried it on a HTPC controlling with a remote?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-13, 10:38 PM
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If you don't get greedy, an Acer Revo running XBMC linux (or XBMC Live) would work very nicely. The only problem is most people want it all (surf internet, download software, gaming, etc..) because it's a PC. No one asks the same from the WD or PCH. If you try to use XBMC windows you will have problems on that unit and the ease-of-use will go down significantly.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-15, 05:48 PM
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How about getting an Xbox360 - I see that they are selling for as low as $129. Set up one of your PCs with Windows 7 Media Center and use the Xbox360 as an extender.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-23, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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If you haven't yet purchased the WDTV-live, I'd suggest looking at the alternatives first e.g. Asus, Patriot and the new PopBox, which is supposed to be available in the US later this month. Plus the Boxee Box is coming out later too.

After living with a WDTV-live for ~4mo, I love the concept (I use it as a DVR for downloaded content), but IMHO, the WDTV implementation is sorely lacking.

It's clear the box was rushed to market for the Christmas season, and despite 14 iterations of the production software (iirc, .10 was the first release, .24 is the latest), a number of critical bugs have yet to be resolved;

1. The device is notoriously temperamental in regards to seeing network shares (esp. for XP users). After a reboot, mine is quick to see media servers, but sometimes takes a while to see network shares hosted on the same physical server.

2. The infamous "lost network connection" bug is becoming increasingly irritating; the box will lose the connection (wired in my case), halting playback, necessitating a reboot and several-minute wait to re-acquire the network shares. I'm seeing this ~2x per week.

Despite living with these deficiencies, I also find the user interface extremely basic and during playback, the RW/FF functions are quite choppy, so if you get interrupted, it's hard, if not impossible to return to the spot where the interruption began.

I hope that WD will address these problems, but in the meantime, I'm looking forward to the reviews of the PopBox. If favorable I'll consider getting one, even though we can't get NetFlix
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 2010-03-25, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Winnipeg
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Thanks for all the great replies guys!

I've been doing a lot more reading into the different media streamers out there. I've decided to delay my purchase a bit, to give me time to do some more investigation into the different options.

It looks like the popbox will only be available to the us.

I am likely going to be going with the Boxee Box, unfortunately it's not available for purchase yet (but it will be within the next few months). The great thing about the Boxee is that it can run XMBC!!

Here is a link to a q&a session between the boxee developers and the public if anyone's interested:

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